Smoking, Piercing Up Breast Abscess Risk

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Breast abscesses, inflammatory lesions that are painful, appear at much higher rates in women who smoke or pierce their nipples, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Vinod Gollapalli — a postdoctoral fellow in the department of surgery at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa, says a breast abscess tends to recur at rates as high as 40 percent to 50 percent but until now there has been a lack of research on the risk factors associated with the condition.


Using surgical and radiologic databases at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the researchers identified 68 patients with a diagnosis of breast abscess with no previous history of breast cancer, breast radiation therapy, or breast surgery within the past 12 months.

“Nearly 60 percent of patients with a recurrence of breast abscess were heavy smokers — 10 cigarettes a day,” Gollapalli says in a statement. “Since smoking appears to be a strong risk factor for both causing breast abscess and its recurrence, we recommend patients should be counseled to quit smoking as an integral part of treatment.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Categorized | History, Other, Radiation, Smoking
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